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This species is accepted, and its native range is South Sudan to Kenya.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


Lamiaceae (Labiatae), A.J. Paton, G. Bramley, O. Ryding, R.M. Polhill, Y.B. Harvey, M. Iwarsson, F. Willis, P.B. Phillipson, K. Balkwill, C.W. Lukhoba, D.F. Otieno, & R.M. Harley. Pycnostachys, G Bramleyshaped. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

Type: Sudan, Niamniam, east of R. Huuh, Schweinfurth 3750a (B†, holo. UPS, iso., K!, fragment)
Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb 0.5–1 m tall, becoming woody below
Morphology Stem
Stems erect, slightly branching, quadrangular, or rounded-quadrangular where woodier, pubescent with short eglandular, closely appressed hairs, also with red sessile glands
Morphology Leaves
Leaves opposite or ternate, sessile or minutely petiolate; blades elliptic to narrowly elliptic, 2–10 × 0.8–5 cm, margins subentire to serrate or crenate-serrate in the upper half, apex acute to obtuse, base sessile or obtuse where minutely petiolate, subglabrous or pubescent with scattered short eglandular hairs, these more plentiful on the venation which is sunken above and raised beneath, also with yellow sessile glands above, red sessile glands beneath; petiole 1–2 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence dense, when in flower subglobose, in fruit 25–75 × 18–28 mm; bracts subtending entire inflorescence lanceolate, 6–15 mm long, acuminate, enclosing buds then becoming deflexed in flower, pubescent with short eglandular hairs, persistent through flowering stage; bracts subtending single flowers sometimes forming a coma at the tip of the inflorescence, lanceolate with a short to long acuminate apex that sometimes curls over, 4–8 mm long, pubescent with short eglandular hairs, ciliate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx with tube 0.5–1 mm long at anthesis, outer surface with eglandular hairs and yellow and red sessile glands, inner surface with ± 0.5 mm long narrow triangular scales present between calyx lobes; lobes 5, subulate, slightly curved, with a membranous wing either side of the midrib, ± subequal, 4–6 mm long, pubescent with short eglandular hairs or ± glabrous; fruiting calyx with tube ± 4 mm long, somewhat compressed dorsally, ventrally gibbous, lobes curved, apparently not lengthening
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla white or pale blue, 10–11 mm long; tube pubescent with eglandular hairs, also with yellow sessile glands, very narrow and parallel-sided for ± 3 mm, then curving sharply downwards and broadening for ± 3 mm before opening out into two lips; posterior lip shorter than anterior, 2.5–3 mm long, with yellow sessile glands, densely pubescent with eglandular hairs; anterior lip ± 4 mm long, 2–3 mm deep, the front densely pubescent with eglandular hairs and yellow sessile glands
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens connate for ± 1.5 mm, barely exserted
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets (immature) ± 1 mm long.
Swampy grassland; 900–2100 m
Known over a considerable area in Kenya and Uganda but habitat under some threat from agriculture; possibly threatened.
There is some variation in leaf indumentum and calyx lobe length – specimens from Uganda are ± glabrous, but those from Kenya tend to have very short hair on the lower leaf surface, especially on the venation. Sudanese collections can have calyx lobes up to 10 mm long. P. niamniamensis is very closely related to the more southerly distributed P. prittwitzii, but can be distinguished from it because of its elliptic or narrowly elliptic rather than oblanceolate leaves, usually less conspicuous bracts, and longer calyx lobes (4–6 mm not 3–4 mm). It is also closely related to P. reticulata and could be confused vegetatively with the Tanzanian collections, but can be distinguished by its dorsally compressed fruiting calyx, which has longer, curved lobes, and its wider fruiting inflorescence. It also apparently has more northern distribution than P. reticulata, only reaching as far south as K 6.
Range: Sudan and possibly Ethiopia Flora districts: U1 K2 K3 K5 K6

Native to:

Kenya, Sudan, Uganda

Coleus niamniamensis (Gürke) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1914 Petherick [s.n.] Pycnostachys niamniamensis K000405959 Unknown type material
Jan 1, 1914 Scott Elliot, G.F. [7155], Kenya Pycnostachys niamniamensis K000405971 Unknown type material
Lindblom [s.n.], Kenya Pycnostachys niamniamensis K000405972 Unknown type material
Schweinfurth [3750a], Sudan Pycnostachys niamniamensis K000405960 Unknown type material

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 78 (2019)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. (2021). The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. Scientific Data 8: 215.

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.